How to dress for the Klondike Road Relay

The Relay is at a tricky time of year.  It could be sunny and warm.  It could snow.  You might be running at 1pm or 1am and of course you need to consider team costumes! However, even if you are dressing for a fun team theme, you will need to watch the weather forecast, know your body and dress accordingly to be sure that you are comfortable and safe.

Running in any weather is best done with layers and with the right accessories.

What are layers? Your layers are base (next to skin), mid (typically insulating), and outer (keeping wind, rain and snow out).  None of your layers should contain cotton.  When you run, you sweat.  Cotton will slurp up the moisture, making you cold and uncomfortable as it does not evaporate or dry quickly. Be sure to wear wicking wool or synthetics.

Accessories: If it’s cold or you run at night you may need a lightweight toque, neck tube & gloves. If you’re running on a warm sunny day, you may need a sun hat! No matter the weather you will need moisture-wicking socks.  We prefer a merino wool blend.

Of course accessories like boas, walrus hats and leopard onesies are important but be sure you have the running basics!

Be bold and start the race (a little) cold. 

If you are running at night or if the KRR weekend is a cool one, don’t overdress!

Overdressing causes unnecessary sweating so that, when you get hot and then strip down, you expose damp layers. These damp layers can cause a real chill and lead to real discomfort.

It’s best to remove layers or to increase ventilation before you start to really perspire. Find layers that are easy to remove or that can easily ventilate. If you choose a zip-t instead of a crew baselayer, a full zip mid layer and a lightweight running shell with ventilation built-in, you can easily create airflow as you progress through your run and as you warm up.  Your goal is to stay as dry as possible.

Over time, you will learn your personal internal temperatures and you will know how to layer for the race.  We know a runner who starts cold then becomes a furnace…she knows she has to start her race like an icicle! Some people maintain a more even body temperature.   Observe and listen to your own body.

Here are our recommendations from head to toes for a cold or a warm KRR weekend 

The KRR is predicting weather as cold as -10 or you are running at night

A lightweight toque like our Sauce Swift Toques or a lightweight Merino or fleece!
Thin synthetic or wool neck tube. We like Buffs because you can wear them as a hood should you need to cover your head…. Or they can be twisted into a toque… or they can be a face mask.
A 150 weight merino base layer or a synthetic layer like a Patagonia Mid Weight Capilene.
Mid Layer: Consider a lightweight fleece vest to protect your core or, if you run cold or you’re walking the race, you could wear a layer as warm as an Arc’teryx Atom LT.
Outer layer: you need to protect yourself from wind or rain so be sure to have an outerlayer like a running shell that is wind and rain resistant. If you‘re wearing a coat like the Atom LT you probably won’t need another outer layer.
Lightweight gloves that will fit in your pocket.  There are also some mid-layers that have pockets on the sleeve cuffs that will fit over your hands so that you don’t have to fumble with gloves.
Running pants or tights… But beware, the thickness will be important. Thin tights or pants meant for the gym could be too cold, especially if there is wind. You can put a pair of long underwear under these to boost them.
• Mid weight moisture-wicking socks such as hiking socks (be sure they don’t make your running shoes too tight!)
Consider a waterproof shoe because it adds a little bit of warmth and keeps the feet dry if there is snow.
 

A sunny weekend with temps from 0 to 10C

a light sun hat (your favourite ball cap will likely be too heavy) or a very lightweight toque
The same base layer as above.  We like long sleeves to give sun protection and to keep arms warm.
If you have poor circulation in your extremities or it’s close to 0C, you’ll want some lightweight gloves.
A lightweight running shell.  Remember, the wind could come up so be sure to have a wind-resistant layer
Lighter weight running tights or pants.  Some may even opt for shorts if they are running during the day.
Mid-weight or lightweight moisture wicking socks, depending on how your runners fit.

 

And at all temperatures: wear reflective gear. You will, after all, be running on the road. Most running jackets have reflective stripes as do many running shoes.  Racers who are running a leg at night should consider boosting their visibility with reflective arm bands or a small blinking light.

So, to sum things up simply, there are 6 main things to consider for Race clothing:

1. Wear layers
2. Don’t wear cotton
3. Don’t forget your head and hands
4. Always have a wind resistant layer
5. Wear moisture wicking socks that don’t make your runners too tight.
6. HAVE FUN!!!  Super hero capes and angel wings are sure to boost spirits and to help speed you on your way !
Good luck and have a great time training and racing!
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